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Making a song and dance about culture

Posted July 22nd, 2019, 10:23 AM IST

Making a song and dance about culture

Kathi Karthika needs no introduction. With her typical Telangana accent, Karthika had become quite the household name as the anchor of a celeb chat show. But now, Karthika has taken to another calling in her. In a bid to spread awareness about the culture and traditions of Telangana to the Gen Y, the former contestant of Bigg Boss (Season 1) has come up with a song on Bonalu festival, which she recently released on her YouTube channel earlier this month.

“Having been born and raised in Hyderabad, I feel there’s a strong need to uphold and spread awareness about the Telangana culture. And what better way to start off the journey than with an auspicious and devotional song on Bonalu?” asks Karthika.

Dances with the villagers
The four-minute song, says Karthika, was shot in a single day at a village called Medipally, en route Vikarabad. “It is a detailed take on what and how exactly Bonalu is performed and the entire festivity around it. From making the prasadam to offering naivedyam, the song has it all,” explains the former TV host.

Instead of hiring junior artistes, however, Karthika engaged the villagers for the song. “That, to me, is the most gratifying part. Scores of villagers took part in the festival with great fever and ensured that the ritual was complete,” she says.
Penned by renowned lyricist Kandikonda and crooned by Roja Ramani (Rela re Rela fame), the song had music by Baji and cinematography by Tirupati and Vikas. “This success is a reflection of what teamwork can do,” says Karthika talking of the video that’s gotten over two lakh views on the channel since it was uploaded on July 11. Karthika goes on to add that she would further use this visual medium for making songs to create social awareness.

The accidental celeb
An architect by profession, Karthika reveals that she was an accidental anchor. “I did my Masters in Project Management in London and set up my own interior designing company. I actually happened to visit the premises of channel V6 for working on their interiors. But they were impressed with my Telangana slang and asked me to host the celeb chat show,” she recollects. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Karthika, incidentally, had several other offers from top TV channels, who wanted her to host celeb chat shows provided she changed her accent. But she refused them all “for the love of my land and culture”. Interestingly, Karthika was criticised in her childhood for her Telangana accent. “I am still clueless about why I received flak in my school and college for speaking it. It’s my mother tongue, but more importantly, it’s the dialect that earned me fame,” adds Karthika.
From being bullied for her accent to now when she’s refusing offers for speaking in it, life certainly has come a full circle for Karthika. Here’s wishing her latest venture brings her as much success too.